Zombies and a mag of Crozes Thalabert – serious drinking at Hawksmoor

I’ve raved about Hawksmoor (London’s best meat restaurant) on many occasions; it is just such a good place to engage in quality meat action. However, I don’t feel I have done justice to their brilliant bar.

Hawksmoor's mind-bending Zombie cocktail

Hawksmoor’s bar has provided me with restorative cocktails on so many occasions that I can only vaguely remember last night’s booze bash. Since this was themed around Zombie cocktails, constructed from five types of rum, galvanising each diner I feel fortunate to remember anything about the shindig. Served in a glass as large as the contents are reality augmenting this is a drink for the truly dissolute.

The general cocktail list is has a 1920s theme and contains an embarrassment of riches for the lover of liver punishment[1]. In addition to the standard list there are usually a few ‘cocktails of the moment’ printed on the current menu. These are usually creations devised at Hawksmoor and I would recommend expanding your cocktail horizons by trying one on your next visit.

These spirituous delights are effectuated by a skilled team behind the bar headed by a thoroughly charming fellow who was recently judged to make the best Bloody Mary in London. Those BMs are damned good, if you go for breakfast at a weekend you can drink your fill as they have the option of bottomless BMs. My record so far is seven of them with a hearty plate of meat.

Even if you have some perverse, diseased aversion to noshing on meat, such is the quality of the cocktails on offer that you should still be swinging by Hawksmoor in order to get decidedly newscasted.

We also necked a mag of Crozes:

A mag of Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Thalabert 2006, Jaboulet

Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Thalabert 2006, Paul Jaboulet-Aine

Under the direction of Gerard Jaboulet this was not just a fine Crozes but an indisputably fine wine by any measure. Jaboulet lost direction when the great man snuffed it, making shamefully poor wines from their excellent vineyards. This damaged their reputation so much that a Swiss Claret maker has now taken over and new labels have rolled out to demonstrate that the bad times are over. Are they, though? This is my first decent taste of a serious Jaboulet wine since they were plucked from the ashes, I hope it performs. The nose has sleek, polished fruit, some peppery aromas and a definite earthy character. This may sound good but these characters seem to lack substance resulting in the nose lacking the elan a fine wine should have. The palate is much the same: superficially it has the right flavours and structure, but those flavours are hollow and vapid. By some standards this wine could be viewed as being totally correct, but I am really finding this lacking in terms of style and personality. This is quite disappointing. I think Mr Swiss Claret maker needs to adjust his oenological recipe so that it is more suitable for classy Syrah. I suppose I need to try some Hermitage La Chapelle from the new regime, but on the showing of this Crozes I think when I do my mood will collapse like a soufflé being taken out of the oven.


Contact details: Hawksmoor, 157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ

  1. [1] In my many dealings with healthcare professionals I’ve come to realise that as soon as you tell them you like wine they instantly assume you drink with wild abandon and are deteriorating into crapulence. Consequently, it pleases me no end when I go for regular liver function tests (they are required because of the anti-psychotics I take) and the results come back to my doctor revealing that my liver is in rude good health. He always looks deflated when my good health denies him a petty, small-minded rant about the evils of booze. Ha!

One Comment

  • David Strange wrote:

    It has been pointed out to me that this Thalabert does not come from the original Thalabert vineyard. When Jaboulet was sold two of the family members kept hold of the real thing and now sell it under their own names. More info here: http://www.wilsondaniels.com/product.cfm?prdid=1641

    It strikes me that if these two Jaboulets were responsible for winemaking from 1998 to 2005 then the re-vivified Thalabert might not be all that good… I had a small taste of Lash 1998 the other day, it was a disgustful waste of fine Hermitage grapes.



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